Restoring the Riley

Our 1953 Riley RMS initially came in with some alignment issues with the bonnet and side panels however we discovered that the handbrake was sticking.

Read More »

Lada On The Road Back Home

Our lovely 1984 Lada 1200 is leaving today! We’ve completed all the work which included repairing and respraying the rusty floors, replacing the exhaust silencer,

Read More »

Austin Nippy’s Piston Problem

Our 1934 Austin Seven Nippy had an issue with rattling pistons that were needing to be bored. We’d sent the components off to Coltec to be pressure tested and bored so that the liner and piston sit in the Austin engine better.

Wheels On The Road

Both the Morris Minor 1000 and the Peugeot 504 have had their road tests to check how they’re running. They’re both currently being stored up at our hangar to keep them safe and out of the way now all their major refurbishments have been completed. Both ran their road tests fine with only a few minor teething problems.

Carburettor Corrections

Our 1958 Navy Jensen 541R has recently been up and running however we noticed that there was a petrol leak in the float of the carburettor as well as a leak in the clutch pipe. Once these elements have been repaired, we can take this Jensen out onto the road to see how it drives. This beautiful Jensen will soon be up for sale so keep your eyes peeled!

Last week Darren focused on polishing and correcting the body panels of the Jensen, ensuring that the finishing paintwork is perfect.

James has been welding the underside of the Jensen, fixing a hole in the exhaust. This has been done by making and welding a seal over the hole.

Grey Jensen’s Re-alignment

Our 1957 Grey Jensen is progressing well in its restoration journey with the majority of its interior trim fitted. It still needs its windscreen and Perspex back windows fitted as well as the door panel trims but the current job in hand is to re-align the doors.

We noticed the inner panels of the door were not sitting correctly so decided to investigate and found that some of the elements need refurbishing.

Black Jensen’s Final Tweaks

Our stunning 1960 Black Jensen 541R is on its final leg of its restoration journey and will soon be returned back to its owner. The recent additions include the oil filter which has recently been re-fitted, the start motor was installed along with a new exhaust. All the components are currently being put back into the car before it has its final paint correction and can then be road tested.

A large part of the final tweaks in a restoration project is reassembling all of the elements after parts have been fitted, which is usually the last stage before the road test.

Meet The Team: Lydia and Scott

Here at Bridge Classic Cars, we’re a close-knit team and its not uncommon to have multiple family members, close friends and couples working together. Lydia and Scott are two of our talented technicians who also happen to be a couple. Like a snapshot from the 1940’s era, Scott and Lydia are fascinated by a vintage way of living. As very hands-on individuals, both have led careers in the trade.

Lydia, who only recently joined us, works in our Trim shop and has joined our team of specialist interior trim technicians. Lydia tells us she’s always been into sewing since she was a child, and has always enjoyed being creative, which she says is what she enjoys about working at Bridge. “I love the free reign and the creativity here, I’d never done any of the fitting before so being able to see the whole process is really interesting.”

“I started getting into classic cars when I began going to classic car shows as a teenager and I just ended up wanting one for myself. I’ve never bought a modern car because of it. My first car was a 1961 Morris Minor 1000, my second car was a 1952 Ford Prefect and now I own a 1953 Austin A40 Somerset.”

Not only is Lydia a talented seamstress and interior technician, but she also loves the classic lifestyle, that comes hand in hand with many of the cars that we work on. Lydia tells us that she really loves the challenge that comes with a restoration workshop as she learns the bespoke process of making and fitting each car’s interior, “I really love learning new and different skills” she tells us.

Lydia’s skills don’t just stop at car interiors as she tells us she used to make her own clothes and is currently in the middle of making home furnishings for their new house which is also a classic.

Scott is also a lover of classic and vintage lifestyles. He tells us that he grew up watching his father fix cars and picked it up from there, “I’ve always loved cars, I’ve never really cared about much else.”

Much like Lydia, Scott lives and breathes classic cars, with it not only his passion and career but also his personal hobby. Scott owns an artillery of classic cars including a 1940 Tudor Sudan and a Series 2 Land Rover, among various others. His Land Rover is his and Lydia’s current day to day, which he tells us he bought when in search of a run-around car whist we worked on his other projects, “You have to think of it as a tractor. Many people think its uncomfortable but I don’t, I’ve enjoyed driving it”

Scott used to work as a panel beater for cars caught in accidents but tells us that being at Bridge has allowed him to grow and learn much more about the overall process of renovating classics. Whilst Scott joined as a fabricator and general technician, he soon found his love for working in the main workshop where he had the ability to do a bit of everything. You can find Scott working on projects that range from fitting interior trims, fixing alignment issues in the fabrication bay or working over an engine in the main workshop, “I learn something new every day”.

“I’ve always loved cars, I’ve never really cared about much else.”

Scott’s own long term project is building a workshop at his house which will allow him to work on his collection of cars. The car that will take centre stage in his new workshop will be building a Ford Model A with a flathead V8 installed. This will be a full rebuild, starting with the Model A chassis and working up. He’s currently got a ‘hopped-up’ flathead V8 in his 1940 ford, meaning the Ford A project will come with some previous transferable skills.

The Cyan Volvo P1800 Restomod

Made between 1961 and 1973, the P1800 was Volvo’s lightweight sportscar of the 60’s. The original dual carburettor, inline 4 cylinder engine put out a respectable 115bhp.

Cyan have reimagined the classic P1800. The engine has been replaced with a Volvo 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder, putting out 414bhp.

Five speed manual Holinger gearbox, LSD, race suspension and upgraded brakes have all made this a real racecar for the road.

The P1800 is light… very light. Using carbon fibre to save weight, this car tips the scales at just 990kg.

All cars have already been spoken for and have set there new owners back £380,000.

Over 400bhp in a car weighing less than 1000kg sounds like a recipe for a lot of fun! What are your thoughts on Cyan’s resto-mod?

Ferrari Daytona’s Debut

We received the engine for our unique 1979 Arrow Ferrari Daytona Replica. This kit car is going to be a particularly large restoration with the process expected to take a while but we know for certain it will be worth it!

Ant, one of our fabricators has been working on stripping the body. It originally had a lot of stickers on the side which have now been taken off, allowing ant to prepare underneath for new paint. The current plan for this Daytona is to be painted Green – stay tuned!

This is what it looked like before we started the stripping process:

One of our technicians, Scott, has also been stripping down the Daytona by focusing on the doors and removing all chrome and lights.

Scott has also been working on the removal of the complete exhaust system and rear axle which will be refurbished.

Tom, another of our Classic Car Technicians has been sorting all the parts, which are a mix of new and old. He has ordered and filed all the components so we know what we have and if we need to get anything else. It also allows us to see which bits need refurbishing and cleaning.

Farewell Little Micra

We recently said goodbye to our little Micra that we’d all grown quite fond of. This 1994 Nissan Micra Dot, a future classic, went off to its new home earlier in the week.

As a versatile and nippy little car, its the perfect daily car whilst still being a possible future classic. We have known of our 1994 Nissan Micra Dot for many years as it belonged to Gordon (the Director’s) next door neighbour.

She has owned the car from new in 1994 and has covered just 19,000 miles in that time. Due to the fact that she very rarely used the car, she asked us whether we would consider selling it on her behalf.

Restoring the Riley

Our 1953 Riley RMS initially came in with some alignment issues with the bonnet and side panels however we discovered that the handbrake was sticking. To try and resolve this, Scott stripped the rear brakes, cleaned and greased where necessary and then cleaned up and re-greased the compensator as it was sitting too tight.

Scott also noticed that the handbrake cable had been routed different to the factory setting and was hard up against floor at an angle. To fix this, Scott took the cable off, regreased it and fitted it correctly.

We also noticed that the front right brake was binding slightly so Scott took the drum off and found that it was caked in dust and dirt. After giving it a clean, Scott then adjusted the brakes.

Triumphant Steps For The TR5

Mauro has been dedicated to the renovation of our beautiful 1968 Triumph TR5 that is slowly resembling more of a car now. With the engine now fitted in, Mauro has been diligently pouring over the engine bay to make sure everything is perfect.

Most recently Mauro has been working on refurbishing some of the smaller elements such as the heater box which has been stripped and serviced, and then reassembled with new matrix. The pedal box has also been refurburshed along with the dashboad, steering column and pedal box.

Once all these elements have been refurbished, they’ve been fitted back into the car.

Nissan 300ZX Completion

Our lovely Nissan 300ZX is almost finished. We’re just waiting on an Alternator Belt to arrive, which we will fit once its arrived.

We solved the running issues which we originally thought were linked to the cold start motor but were in fact linked to the air filter taking in too much air. Once the alternator belt has been fitted, one of the technicians will take the Nissan for a spin to see how it runs and as long as it passes its road test without any snags, it’ll be sent up to our hanger to be stored until the owner is ready to pick it up.

DB7 In For A Service

This stunning 1997 Aston Martin DB7 has been sat in storage up at our specialist hanger at RAF Bentwaters. Today it came in for a general service and check up.

This model is particularly rare as its a manual transmission whereas most of these models are automatic. The car was passed down to the current owner after previously belonging to the customers late father.

Our specialist classic car technician Tom has started the check-up today by replacing the oil, oil filter and spark plugs. Tom will also be checking the gearbox, differential and brakes among other elements. We aim to carry out a thorough service and refurbishment of this Aston Martin, leaving it healthy and new afterwards.

Calm Indian Cow – Beastmag London Feature – December 2020

Our Bedford J-Type truck restoration is being put to good use. Owner of Calm Indian Cow, a traditional Indian takeaway restaurant, Mahesh tasked us with restoring his 1971 Bedford Truck, fully loaded and ready for food preparation and service.

Based in Shoreditch, Mahesh is cooking up a storm, serving delicious Indian cuisine from the converted truck.

Beastmag London have recently featured Mahesh and Calm Indian Cow on their Instagram page. It was a pleasure to be tasked with such a special project. If you’re ever in the Leonard Street, Shoreditch area, we would thoroughly recommend paying Mahesh a visit.

Paint corrections for the Triumph TR6

We’ve been focusing on perfecting the paintwork for our Triumph TR6, making sure the metal bodywork sits perfectly.

Currently its sitting in a filler spray awaiting a high build primer before its painted for the final time.

Peugeot 504 Is All Done

We’re delighted to announce our beautiful 1972 Peugeot 504 is ready to finally leave us! We just need to do a few final road checks but it’s otherwise completed and will be returned to its owner very soon.

Peony Red Jensen Developments

Our 1960 Peony red Jensen 541S is making good progress in the workshop. Here are the latest developments.

Fabrication Bay

Our technician Chris has been working on the Jensen body in the fabrication bay. He’s been ‘gapping’ the doors so they look and fit the same around the sides. He’s also cut and ground both sides, added fibreglass to the bonnet to close the gap up and made a boot catch plate. Finally, Chris has marked the holes and tapping them up to make sure all the bolts fitted.

Trim Shop

Brian has been making a new door panel board from hardboard in the trim shop. This has been done by removing the armrest from the pocket section, removing the metal trim and old cover from the armrest and then making a new pattern for the cover.

Once a pattern has been made, Brian can cut it out from leather, sew on the new cover and fit it to the armrest by glueing and stapling it in place. Brian has also added metal trim to the armrest and cut leather out to make a pocket section. This was then glued in place.

The edges have been turned around to neaten the cover and new piping has been sewn in. Brian then needed to glue the inner metal to the foam, and fit the metal in place. The next step was to then glue the rest of the foam to the inner side of the pocket and fit the armrest to the pocket section. Once fitted, the armrest has been secured with screws and riveting support bar to the back.

Kath has also been working on the Jensen. She’s taken off the old cover from the dashboard and removed the old glue as well, ready to the rub down the front and back in preparation for new material.

Once cleaned down, Kath can mark out the new material and glue both surfaces to stick the material in place. To neaten it up, the material is turned over the edges and the dash holes are trimmed around so that the new cover sits comfortably. Once both sides were done and had followed the same process, Kath then glued along where the two pieces of material meet.

The dash top also needed to be refurbished. For this, Kath removed the two old covers and cut out new material ready to cover the dash top element. Once the material had been marked around the top, it could then be glued along one edge, the material turned over and the corners neatened up.

Lydia has also been working on the Peony Red Jensen interior. She’s been focusing on rear squab by measuring out all the leather, assembling the pieces together and sewing it all up. Lydia then prepared for the fitting of the cover on to the foam and board. She marked out new plywood to replace old worn out original. The next step was to then add wadding to the original foam so it maintains a nice shape. After all this was done, it was time to fit the cover over the squab.

Lada On The Road Back Home

Our lovely 1984 Lada 1200 is leaving today! We’ve completed all the work which included repairing and respraying the rusty floors, replacing the exhaust silencer, fitting rear seatbelts, adjusting the rear brakes and adjusting the handbrake cable. This soviet classic is now ready to get back on the road.

It was another crisp and dreary morning this morning as our technicians loaded the Lada into our new lorry, ready to make its way back to its owner.

With fewer than 200 on the roads in the UK, the Lada is now a rare vehicle. Originally manufactured and popular in Russia, around 134,000 were licenced for UK roads in the 1990s. After a sharp decline over the years, you’d typically struggle to find a classic Lada in the UK however those figures are slowly rising as the value and rarity of these motors increase.

Here’s some photos of when the Lada first came in:

Refurbishments On Speed Dial

We’ve sent off a collection of our dials back to Speedograph to refurbish them. These all belong to our Lilac Jensen 541R, the Amphicar, the Peony Red Jensen and a Mercedes.

Motoring Events Bucket List

For car lovers and adventure chasers, there’s a tonne of events that are well worth adding to your motoring bucket list. They’re a step up from a relaxing car show or road trip but whether you’re a spectator or competitor, they will all give you a unique experience you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Here’s a selection of some of the world’s greatest motoring events off the beaten track.

The Mongol Rally

The Mongol Rally is one of a handful of charity events set up by the kings of chaos and exploration: The Adventurists. This 10,000-mile adventure from the UK to Mongolia only has three rules; a small car under 1.2 litres, no back up/support, raise £500 for the chosen charity. The rules encourage you to spend very little on your car, but do not specify which cars you should choose, meaning many do them in old run-down cars, so there’s nothing stopping you from picking up an old classic for this trip! The rally also encourages you to throw your GPS and planned routes out the window and venture into the unknown. There’s no set route although many competitors take a route that leads them through the Stans, however the more inventive the better. Lasting on average of 3-4 weeks, the Mongol Rally starts in July and can end any time from August to September, depending on your route.

This rally isn’t for the faint-hearted and whilst it’s a serious adventure, it is run with a light-hearted spirit and encourages escapades and chaos.

Rickshaw Run

The Rickshaw Run is another wacky event organised by The Adventurists. Although strictly not a car, this is motoring event packs a punch. The event takes place in India, the Himalayas or Sri Lanka, each one varies in length. The original event is held in India and lasts on average of 16 days, the Himalayan event is around 13 days and the Sri Lankan event is 9 days. Much like the Mongol Rally, there are only a few rules. You race in a Rickshaw, you raise £500 for the chosen charity and you have no road support or back up; if you break down, you fix it yourself! Although far simpler than a car, the Rickshaw has its own tricks to learn in terms of fixing it. Nevertheless, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime.

The Monkey Run

Another event organised by The Adventurists and I’m sure you get the idea by now – it’s going to be ridiculous and adventurous. The Monkey Run is a race done on monkey bikes, which are essentially children’s motorbikes. They’re nippy bundles of metal and gusto, with only 2.1 BHP, 48cc of 4 stroke engine and weighing 69kg, there’s not far to fall when you inevitably do take a tumble. The route starts in a secret location near Merzouga, Morocco, venturing through deserts and mountains, and ends in another secret location near Marrakech.

Dumball Rally

The Dumball Rally changes route each year. In 2020, the event took place in Mexico, with a bunch of old VW Beetle’s travelling 2000km from Mexico City to Acapulco, raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Much like the Mongol Rally, its an event in the spirit of adventure, however, The Dumball Rally is a bit less ruthless as they offer you accommodation, road support and meals. This event encourages beat up and cheap cars to join the road trip. From Morris Minors to old Toyota’s, this road trip event is perfect for road trip lovers and classic car fanatics.

Gumball 3000

2021’s Gumball 3000 rally is set to take place from Toronto to Havana in May. Since 1999, its taken routes through a selection of different countries and continents. For those who haven’t heard of Gumball 3000, its an adventure road trip for rockstars.

“Gumball is about challenging tradition and taking a non conventional approach to exploring and pushing cultural and creative boundaries.”

Baja 1000

Starting in 1967, the Baja 1000 rally is not for the faint-hearted. It strikes through the heart of the Mexican desert. It holds the title of the longest non-stop point-to-point race in the world and lasts just 5 days.

Any and all vehicles and bikes are welcomed, but depending on your steed of choice depends on when you start. For example, motorbikes and buggies start first and different classifications of cars then follow in segments.

24 hours Le Mans

24 Hours Le Mans is a little more exclusive to enter, filled with some of the worlds best drivers and teams. Its an incredibly popular spectator event as the worlds oldest sports car endurance races. The race itself has been going since 1923 and is held near Le Mans in France and is one of three races in the Triple Crown of Motorsport, with the other two races being the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. The race is measured by how far each car can go in 24 hours without mechanical failure, making it different from fixed distance races. Spectators tend to camp out by the track and tickets for the campsite are available on their website.

Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One motorsport race that’s been running since 1929 and is held on the Circuit De Monaco. The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many challenging elements such as tight corners and a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding and dangerous tracks in Formula One. Much like 24 Le Mans, its a more exclusive event to enter than rallies like The Mongol Rally, making it more of a spectator event rather than an open race.

Indy 500

500 miles, 200 laps, 33 drivers and a bottle of milk. This exciting event is held at the Indianapolis Speedway track in the USA. The Indy 500 was set up in 1911, this event has gone on for over 100 years, with two breaks during World War One and World War Two. The unique milk-drinking celebration was started in 1936 after three-time winner Louis Meyer was seen drinking Butter Milk in the Victory lane. ‘An executive with what was then the Milk Foundation was so elated when he saw the moment captured in a photograph in the sports section of his newspaper the following morning that he vowed to make sure it would be repeated in coming years.’ Although from 1947-55 milk no longer offered, the tradition returned in 1956 and has been a tradition ever since.

Italian Job Rally

The Italian Job Rally is loosely based around the Michael Caine film and takes place across Europe with each year the route being different. Mini’s of any generation or any other car featured in the Italian Job film can enter, and its run to raise money for a selected charity.

Morris Minor Is Ready To Go

We’re delighted to announce that our 1963 Morris Minor 1000 is ready to go! All we need to do now is do a road test to ensure everything is in working order when running for an extended period of time.

This is a vital part of every restoration as there’s a huge difference between turning over in the workshop and actually running soundly on the road. It isn’t uncommon for teething snags to appear after the road test but fingers crossed the Morris Minor will pass with flying colours!

We’ve had this Morris Minor in for almost exactly a year now, so it would be ideal if we can see it off exactly a year later!